Your 5 Point Quarantine Checklist
Here in The Netherlands we entered the second hard lockdown just before Christmas holidays on 16th December 2020. Severe Corona measures were introduced and stricter rules applied nationwide.
Working from home has already been the norm for many and a lot activities have been restricted all year. This second lockdown feels like a setback after months of practicing social distancing.
But I do agree that these measures are highly necessary considering the current amount of cases. The Netherlands saw the darkest numbers when the cases reached 13k per day.
On the other hand it will be clearer what is actually allowed and what isn’t. Now nothing is allowed which makes it crystal clear, or at least should. I still see every day people breaking those rules, which makes me very sad and anxious.
I understand that this time can be confusing and anxiety inducing for many. All year 2020 has been a rollercoaster of emotions, canceled plans and loneliness.
I wrote this 5 Point Quarantine Checklist originally in my April 2020 newsletter. I’ve never got so much positive feedback on a single newsletter. So I decided to expand it into a blog article for everyone to enjoy. Today I am updating this piece to reflect the current situation better.
My original aim was to reflect the quarantine situation in the spring with compassion to your individual situation -and without sounding tone-deaf.
There’s still a lot of things that you can do for your personal image and style but there’s also been a massive shift in priorities. Overlooking that fact of our current life would be just naive.
With this piece I am sending you all my love and strength. I hope you are coping well and that you are healthy. Better times are coming so stay strong.
Stay Safe & Stay Sane
1. You Don’t Have To Be Productive
There’s a lot of helpful advice going around (my own included) encouraging you to make the best use of this time. If you don’t feel like it or your every day life is demanding all you have right now, skip it.
Nobody is doing door-to-door checks on this!
If you still have the stamina to work on personal development, start with this easy guide on how to improve your personal image from home.
That article is collection of my best image consulting tips that require no budget and minimal technical skills. It’s already split in small chunks that you can do at your own pace.
Do these activities ONLY if you want and if you feel like it. It’s 100% acceptable not to be productive right now. I promise I won’t judge you if personal image and style are not a priority for you right now.
2. It’s OK To Be Lazy
Netflix-series and junk food? Yes please! This is a lockdown, not a fat camp. Your body is still beautiful and you are still amazing, even if you don’t feel like working out right now.
I admit that being physically active and eating healthy makes me feel better about everything. But I am not going to beat myself up for being lazy.
I am running my online image consulting and personal styling business, blogging, creating content on social media and taking care of my family. That’s multiple full-time jobs right there.
I am sure you are juggling a lot of things at the moment too. So keep it simple and do what feels good. Get a little bit of fresh air every day. Catch a few moments of daylight and breathe in the crisp winter air.
Alternatively, cozy up at home. Get a jumbo cup of tea, wrap up in a warm blanket and light up some candles. This season is made for hibernating and it’s aligned with the official Corona measures.
Back to Netflix: If you are short of ideas what to watch then head straight to The Starving Artist Blog for “20 Netflix Shows to Binge During Quarantine”. Carolyn has you covered for weeks, if not months, to come!
3. Don’t Forget Self-Care
For me style has always been a way of self-expression but it’s also a way of taking care of yourself. Style can improve your mood, boost your self-esteem and make you happier.
Wearing nice things gives you purpose and direction. Your style choices can increase your confidence and feel of being in control. We have never needed this boost more than now.
It’s perfectly fine to want beautiful things and to care about your style. Social distancing doesn’t change or stop your dreams and aspirations. After all, in an ideal situation you are dressing up first and foremost for yourself.
A lockdown, even if partial, is a great opportunity to wear anything you ever wanted to try but was too insecure to wear in public.
Now it’s the ideal time because at home you can try all the looks you ever dreamed of. Nobody will see you or judge you so go have fun with your style!
Shop only if are able to do it safely. Consider buying things online. Before buying check how the shops are communicating their Corona-strategy and favor stores who are able to guarantee a safe handling process.
Get started and grab your WFH (working from home) style inspiration in my Autumn Winter 2020 Fashion Trend Report. It is an inclusive piece that recognizes the current style challenges and encourages to shop your own closet.
Spoiler alert: You might not have to buy anything new this season!
If you have the energy to work on your work wardrobe then take a a look at these two articles that will help you look professional and polished in 2021:
- Powerful And Personal Job Interview Style Advice For You
- The Best Business Casual Fashion Brands For All Sizes
4. Take Shortcuts Where You Can
You might feel the pressure to do everything right and perfect now that you “have the time” for it. In reality you might actually have less time in your hands, or that your time has been divided in a totally new way.
For example, I find myself working late on most evenings because that’s when the house is quiet. I am still helping my online image consulting and personal styling clients during the day when my children are at school but my afternoons are typically dedicated for my family.
From 4th January 2021 I will be homeschooling my children again so it’s only understandable that it will take a huge chunk of my day.
Sometimes we eat simple sandwiches for lunch and ready-made meals for dinner. We take shortcuts where we can. Ordering a pizza is actually supporting the struggling economy so go make that call without shame.
Remember that shortcuts mean different things to different people. That Sourdough Girl is actually taking a shortcut because then she doesn’t have to go to the shop for a while. So one woman’s shortcut is another one’s marathon.
I loved this article by Content Creator Madi Dearson: “Working At Home With Kids Around – How To Manage It All”. Her down-to-earth and realistic tips made me feel instantly better about not excelling at everything.
I have found my own way and my own pace to do my work but my recipe for success doesn’t necessary work for you, or the other way around.
The main thing is to keep your cool and stay confident about your choices. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to warm a ready-bought meal for dinner and call it a day!
5. Stay Safe And Healthy
Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, is worth risking your well being. There’s a huge social pressure to attend campaigns, online groups and virtual initiatives. It’s OK not to join any of these.
I pressed that ignore button and you can do that too. If you are experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), then you might be relieved to know that not much is going on out there. You won’t be missing a thing!
In fact, I have joined only a small handful of online events this year and feel better about saying no to invitations. A lot of instances have move their efforts online without asking themselves are they really adding any value. Most often they are not so don’t feel pressured to join in.
Your most important task is to stay home and practice social distancing. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Stay sane. That’s enough. The rest you can ignore.
If your anxieties get the best of you, don’t hesitate to seek for professional help. In The Netherlands the starting point is to contact your GP and ask for a referral.
I am always here to help you online and in my blog & social media. I might not know all the answers but I can offer an ear to listen and a virtual shoulder to cry on.
The comments section of this blog are for you to open up and tell about your situation. You can also share tips and tricks how to make this period a more pleasant one.
This post was originally published on 20th April 2020 and updated on 28th December 2020 with most recent information.
You are doing a great job and I am proud of you!